An opinion piece grumbles that our socially distanced lives have become overstuffed with Zoom events, “a tedious trend that needs to stop.” And don’t you invite us to your stupid Zoom office meetings neither. Scientific studies by Dr. Google have conclusively shown that listening to your colleagues on Zoom is even more exhausting than in person. Because we humans were never meant to stare at each other’s enlarged faces for hours at a time. Especially when we haven’t been to the hairdresser for two months.
So we weren’t surprised by the headline, “Juror Walks Off To Take Phone Call As Texas Tests First Jury Trial Via Zoom.”
Scene: Billy Bob’s Capital Trial on Zoom
Prosecutor: Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, the coroner testified to a reasonable degree of coroner certainty that Colonel Sanders was shot at 2:06 a.m. on Christmas Day. I give you my word I wouldn’t be prosecuting Billy Bob unless I knew he was guilty. He should be put down like Old Yeller —
Sheriff: (bursting onto the screen) Hold everything! I got new evidence!
Prosecutor: Daddy! You can’t interrupt my summation!
Sheriff: You hush your bazoo, Rose -a -Sharon! At 2:06 a.m. on Christmas, Billy Bob was passed out in the Rattlesnake Junction drunk tank wearing a Santa suit. Here’s the video to prove it (plays video).
Judge: Well, I’ll be the son of an armadillo! Let’s poll the jurors for the verdict. Juror Number 1, how say you, guilty or not guilty?
Juror No. 1: Reckon he’s not guilty.
Judge: Juror Number 2?
Juror No. 2: Not guilty!
Judge: Juror Number 3? Juror number 3? JUROR NUMBER 3?
Juror No. 3: Sorry, I was on the phone buying an oil well. Did I miss anything important?
Meanwhile, the Manhattan federal court has implemented new social distancing architecture:
“And you’ll see changes in the courtrooms,” said the Chief Judge. “There’s lots of plexiglass around here.”
Hey, are you making light of remote justice in the Lone Star State? We are on the cutting edge of simulated trials. Next step is animation to replace missing witnesses and then the addition of emoji evidence. Send some of your art. We can insert it on juror screens when testimony gets dull. All of our court records have been ransomed, so we may as well start from scratch.
I am so not down with the new normal.
Presumably, bench conferences will require clearing the courtroom, and conferences in chambers will be a distant memory. I know that’s not funny. Sorry.
Thank you for making me laugh multiple times. Not much of that around here, lately.